Houston veterinarian charged with plot to murder her ex
Editor's note: This article was updated March 28 with Dr. Valerie McDaniel's reported death by suicide. Click here to read the update.
Valerie McDaniel, DVM, along with live-in boyfriend Leon Jacob, have been charged with solicitation of capital murder after trying to hire a hitman to kill their exes. According to Harris County Court documents, McDaniel solicited another individual to engage “in specific conduct, namely, the murder of M.M.,” which “would make the solicitee a party to the offense of capital murder.”
McDaniel appeared in court March 14 via video teleconference. She did not request appointment of counsel for this first appearance; however, she later requested Matthew B. Alford to be her hired defense attorney for future appearances. The hearing was recorded on court video and a member of the court states, “During the course of the discussion, she indicated that she wanted her ex-husband ‘taken care of.’ She indicated that she would pay the undercover [hit man] $10,000 to kill her ex-husband, and she gave him a name and address to do that.”
According to court documents, the court, headed by current presiding judge Jim Wallace, found that “probable cause for further detention exists.” Bail was set at $50,000, which McDaniel posted. She is set to return to court March 28.
According to her veterinary clinic’s website, McDaniel and her daughter live with their two dogs, their cat and their Illiger Macaw. “Dr. McDaniel spends her free time cooking, reading and relaxing on the water,” her website’s bio reads.
Montrose Veterinary Clinic is a full service animal hospital and welcomes both emergency treatment cases as well as pet patients in need of routine medical, surgical, and dental care, according to the practice Facebook page. “Dr. Valerie McDaniel has years of experience treating serious conditions and offering regular pet wellness care,” the page reads. “Beyond first rate pet care, we make our clinic comfortable, kid-friendly, and calm, so your pet can relax in the waiting room and look forward to meeting our Houston veterinarian.
“At Montrose Veterinary Clinic, we treat your pets like the valued family members they are.”